Our final stop in Namibia was at Fish river canyon. This was taken at the main lookout, the view that makes it on to all the postcards. Picturesque place to sit and have our lunch. We carried on to a camp with hot springs for a relaxing evening.
We stayed at the quiver tree rest camp, next to the largest 'forest' of quiver trees in Namibia. They normally grow singly, but here there is a group of around 300. They aren't actually trees at all, but a type of aloe. Nice place to watch the sun go down.
We hadn't even heard of an aardwolf before we set off, but it soon got added to our list of animals we wanted to see. They are rare and elusive though, and we had pretty much given up. Then, what should come out of the camp office but a baby aardwolf, one of 2 they have taken in. They grow to pretty much the size you would expect for a wolf, and like aardvarks, eat ants. They can eat up to 300,000 a night! Could have done with one in the garden of our old house.
All these three animal pics were taken at the quiver tree rest camp. They take in orphan animals and care for them.
This warthog is only five years old, but gets fed rather a lot by guests, and is the biggest, fattest one we have seen!
Bit shadowy this one, but you can just about make out the cheetah that I am stroking. Fine as long as it is distracted by food apparently.
One of the most photogenic places we have ever been to, dead vlei in the sossusvlei dunes is a clearing filled with dead trees, and surrounded by orange dunes. We got there for dawn and had the place to ourselves till we left a couple of hours later. Magical!
The sign warned soft sand, and well, it was. We got a bit stuck. We had driven through it 2 times before this, but lost momentum this time. Took us about 10 minutes of digging to get us out. (Stuart did do most of it!)
We broke our journey in a place called Solitaire. Town is rather an exageration, as there is a lodge and camping, petrol station and about 3 houses.
We spent 4 days in Swakopmund, but didn't do much. Nice little town in the middle of the desert, and by the sea. The one thing we did do was to go out in a dune buggy and drive around on the sand dunes. Great fun!
We visited the Brandenberg to see some more rock art (which wasn;t as good as Twyfelfontain). We timed it badly, and got there at 11am. 2 hour walk meant walking right through the hottest part of the day, with very little shade. Wasn;t too bad though. First exercise we have done for a while.
We knew that there was a colony of Cape fur seals at Cape cross, and were expecting to see 30 or 40 of them. As we pulled up we could hear them, and as soon as we opened the door we could smell them. We guessed that there were around 10 or 20 thousand of them. They covered the sand as far as we could see.
The skeleton coast is so called because of the number of ships that have been wrecked there over the years. Most of them have now rusted and eroded away to nothing. We did see the remains of one ship, a car that had almost dissapeared into the sand, and an oil rig! Most of the 140km drive is just a totally barren wastland of desert.
We were waved down at the side of the road by a woman holding a bottle of water and a bible. Her and her husband had got their pickup stuck in some deep sand and needed help. They had spent the night there, and were very glad to see us! Landy had no trouble getting them out. Glad we have a 4x4...
This is also at Twyfelfontain. Told you they get some bizarre rock formations here!
This is at Twyfelfontain, one of the best areas of rock art in the country. These carvings are around 6000 years old. You can see a giraffe, and a lion with abizarrely long tail, and a smaller animal in its mouth. There is a rhino bottom left, and I think the rest are various antelopes.
Also called the rock finger, jutting 35 metres up into the air. That little white dot at the bottom is Stuart. There are a lot of weird rock formations around here!
On the way back from Ruacana we stopped at a campsite the LP described as fabulous, withou explaining why. We would have to agree! The setting is amazing, with huge piles of red boulders surrounding the site, and no signs of civilisation for miles and miles around.
Ruacana falls are on the border between Namibia and Angola. A while back Angola dammed the river, so they rarely flow any more, only when there has been a lot of rain, and they can afford to open the dam gates. We heard that they were flowing at the moment, so made a detour up to see them. Glad we did! The sun came out just after we arrived revealing a permanent rainbow at the base of the thundering falls.
Another antelope for our collection. We had been looking forward to seeing this one. They have a striking black and white face, and huge perfectly straight horns.
every park we have been to so far has had thousands and thousands of impalas. At Etosha they have some, but far more springboks, a very similarly sized antelope. A few times we saw the young males playfighting, preparing themselves for when one day they try to take over a group.
They also spring! It was amazing to see. They bounce along jumping repeatedly off all four feet, well over their body height. They really look like they have springs attached to their feet. Made us laugh out loud at times. Never got a picture or a film though.
This is what happens when a pride of lions block the road in Etosha on Easter weekend!
Each time we saw them we sat there for over an hour watching them play, fight and lounge about before they ambled off into the distance when they got fed up with everyone looking at them.
Hot cross bun anyone???
There are a lot of sociable weaver birds in Etosha, and they like to build huge nests. The birds are tiny, look like sparrows, and very, very noisy.
Nothing goes to waste in the wild. This will very soon be nothing more than a pile of bones...
An area in Etosha that has a high concentration of the very unusual fairy tale trees. Legend says that they fell from the heavens and landed upside down, which is why they look so weird.
Every afternoon the clouds starter to gather, getting darker and darker. Then we would start to see lightening flashes all around us, and rain in every direction. Luckily though the rain only actually hit us once. In the middle of the night, and boy was it heavy. Good job we have a roof tent, sveral of those on the floor woke up in the middle of very big pudddles.
We had heard that Etosha was good for Lions, and it was. Especially outside the western camp, where we saw a pride of 14 lions each morning, plus at the flood lit water hole in the evening.
bit different to the ones in the UK.
on our second day in the park Clare started making noises like you would to attract a cat or dog. usually works! The animals turn round and look straight at the camera.
We spent five days (4 nights) in this park, and it is definately our favourite park so far. There are so many animals. And you can actually see them. There are huge areas of open plains, where thousands of animals congregate in massive herds.
There are loads of giraffes, and they look so funny when they bend down for a drink. It actually took us about 20 minutes trying to get this photo. They are very nervous about bending down, and kept getting really close, then checking around again, atc etc...
Having said the leopards were definately wild, the cheetahs looked a bit tame. They ran over to the car when we drove in, and whined like dogs till they were given food. The leopard snarled showed its teeth, and went to attack the car till it was given food.
I didn;t know that cheetahs made sounds like dogs. They whine, and bark too.
We didn't get to see them running. What with it being such a tourist show I thought they might have attached some meat to a greyhound race type hare and made them run!
Leopards in parks are often sighted lounging about in trees. Presumably to make sure we would get our leopard in a tree photo,our driver put a load of meat up a tree.
Once again, WISH we could have seen then in the wild! It has resulted in some good pics though!
Leopards and Cheetahs are the two main things missing from our sightings. As we are running out of parks to go to, we had to cheat. We visited the dunsterbrook guest farm near Windhoek, where they have 3 leopards and 4 cheetahs. They are in enclosures, but are definately wild, and are free to leave at night. They always come back though because they get fed.
Wish we could have seen then in the wild, but it was great to see them anyway.
I didn't eat all of it!
We managed about 2/3 of it over 2 days, then we had to give the rest away as we couldn't face any more.